THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST
“Jesus asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? Whom do ye say that I am?” ” Matthew 16.13,15.
The chief reason why our Saviour is so slighted and why His words are of so little weight with most people is that they do not know who He is. And even among those who are called by His name and read the Scriptures daily, there are not many who heartily believe in Him. Even when men talk of religious matters they choose to name Jesus Christ as little as possible, or His merits and redemption, but prefer to speak of God Almighty, or our Maker, and so on.
It is often looked upon as ridiculous to speak of our Saviour as the true and very God. Thus, for want of faith in him, ministers and people little by little leave the primitive doctrine of Christ and get into a sort of refined heathenism. This, I fear, is too much the case in our own country, where once the churches looked upon the Redeemer as their only Lord, and watered this doctrine with the blood of some hundreds of martyrs.
To test His disciples our Saviour once asked them, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? They answered, “Some say thou art Elijah; others say thou art Jeremiah; and some think thou art John the Baptist, or one of the old prophets risen from the dead.” How confused men were at that time, and how few were right! But it seems much the same even now, for all men differ in their opinions about Him.
The Jews are divided, most of them regarding Him as an imposter or the destroyer of their religion. A few think better of Him, but none will accept that He is the Lord Jehovah. In them the Scripture is fulfilled. ‘He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1.11).
Among the nominal, or so-called, Christians how many opinions there are. Some look upon the Son of man as a prophet whom God honourcd and appointed to be the founder of our religion, and who, having laid the moral and doctrinal foundations, died a martyr for His faith. There are others who conclude that “no man could do the miracles that He did, except God was with Him”. These can easily consent that He is the Son of God, and no mere man, but nevertheless they will have a God greater than He, and above Him. When they speak of God Almighty they are far from meaning Jesus; neither do they pray to Him as the Lord of heaven and earth, Jehovah.
Whence come these different views of Christ? From an ignorance of the Scriptures and the power of God. If men knew the Bible they would acknowledge Jesus as the Lord, the I am. He who is, and who was, and is to come, the Lord God Almighty, for thus the Scriptures preach Him. Had their hearts ever been enlightened by the Father, had they ever been taught by the Holy Spirit, or felt the power of God upon their own souls, they would confess with Thomas, “My Lord and my God”, or with Peter, “Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God”.
Thus it is then that men are prone to err and judge according to their own weak reason so that neither the best confessions or faith, creeds, articles, or even Scripture itself without the illumination of the Holy Spirit can make them think rightly or believe worthily of the Son of Man, our Lord.
No one can read the Bible and count Christ’s divinity a new doctrine, for then he must have eyes and not see, and ears and not hear, since all the prophets have witnessed of Him. They have put it beyond doubt that He is the One who appeared to the fathers, the true God.
In Genesis 18 it is recorded that the Lord appeared to Abraham and was seen by him. In Genesis 26 we read of His appearance to Isaac. And in Genesis 32 the Lord met Jacob, wrestled with him and gave him a new name, so that Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face”. This one who appeared to them, who blessed them and whom they served, was then called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Similarly He appeared to Moses as he hid in the rock and the glory of the Lord passed before him. It is recorded that Moses saw a similitude of God more than other prophets, and spake with him face to face as a man speaketh with his friends (Exodus 33.11. Numbers 12.8). Manoah and his wife saw God (Judges 13.22). Joshua saw the Lord and worshipped Him (Joshua 5.14). Micaiah says, “I saw the Lord”, (1 Kings 22.19), as did Isaiah (6.1), and Daniel (7.9).
But Jesus said, “No man hath seen the Father” (John 6.46). Who then was it who appeared? Who did Moses and the prophets see? It was Jesus Christ. All saw Him and spoke of Him -All the Scriptures testify of Him (John 5.39). He is the Lord, the Almighty, the true God (Acts 9.17; 1 John 5.20). He is the only Lord God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Jude 4).
The Lord Jesus Christ is given honour and praise as God throughout the Old and New Testaments. David, in the Psalms, said of Him, “The Lord is my Shepherd; my Saviour, my Light, my Redeemer.” These titles are given to Jesus and used of Him in the Gospels and Epistles. Isaiah spoke of Him as “the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”. Paul takes up the theme to declare Him as “God manifest in the flesh”. The very words of David in the Psalms are restated in Hebrews 1.8-12 to show the Lord Jesus is divine.
But why do I need to use so many arguments? If He is not truly God how can we blame the Jews for trying to stone Him, or how can we say, “With wicked hands they have crucified and slain him”? Their reasons for it were, because, in that he, being a man, made himself God (John 10.33) and because He said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8.58). Either He is God – or a blasphemer. If He be God then give Him His honour and serve Him as God. If not, then do not be any longer called by His Name; openly join the Jews, and cry out, “Away with him from the earth. We will not have this man to reign over us”.
So sure were the cloud of witnesses and the noble army of martyrs of the eternal divinity of their Master that they would preach no other, but agreed to publish through the earth the doctrine they had received of their Head. “All men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father” (John 5.23). “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”(Colossians 2.9).
All this we have directly from our Lord Himself. When Philip wanted to see the Father, of whom he had heard Jesus say so much, our Saviour said to him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father … I am in the Father and the Father in me” (John 14.9,10).
If I should bring all the proof which could be brought to show who the Son of man is I must bring all the Bible, for all testify of Him, all confess Him the Lord. Martyrs and confessors without number honoured and worshipped Jesus as God. Upon this rock the whole universal church is built, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
These Scriptures should be enough to prove that Jesus is indeed the everlasting Lord God, who made heaven and earth, the One God spoken of by all the prophets, the supreme Maker and Ruler of all worlds, and who, with all His greatness and majesty is Jesus Christ our Saviour.